‘Sawai’ Stage Reverberated with Exhilarating Santoor!

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Pune 16th December 2023. The reverberating effect of the Santoor Strings by Pt. Abhay Rustom Sopori left the audience wanting for more during day four of the 69th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav. The festival is being held at Maharashtriya Mandal Krida Sankul, Mukund Nagar, Pune.

Pt. Abhay Rustom Sopori began his performance by remembering his father and Guru Santoor virtuoso Pt. Bhajan Sopori with a melodious evening Raag Nand Kauns with Aalap and Jod. He then played a Chhand-based Jod accompanied by the Pakhwaj.

He performed a few gradations of ‘Sopori Baaj’ a style created by his father that integrates the vital technical characteristics of both vocal and instrumental presentation. Aspects like the Meend, Taan, Glides, Bol, Gamak Chhand, and Laya patterns were also explored by him

Next, he played his self-created Raag Ajneshwari with a Bandish ‘Tore bin mein kuch bhi nahi’ in Jhaptaal followed by a Bandish in Ektaal. He then captivated the audience with fast-paced tunes along with rhythmic Pakhwaj and Tabla, which received a standing ovation and a ‘once more’. Gracefully accepting the audience’s request, Abhay concluded with a 14th century Kashmiri piece Lal Wakh, the recitation of Laleshwari, in his family’s traditional style of playing the Santoor along with a Tarana composed by his great grandfather.

He was accompanied on Tabla by Satyajit Talwakar and Rishi Shankar Upadhyay on Pakhawaj